“The search could have been wider.”
This is the opinion of the General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union, Thomas Letang, in light of the recent election of former Minister of National Security, Charles Savarin, as President of Dominica.
“When we think of the current state of the country in terms of how divided we are as a people one would have thought that whoever was going to be appointed as president of Dominica would be somebody who would appear to be non partisan,” he told DNO on Tuesday. “Although you cannot escape from the fact that anybody who is appointed as president would have their own political preferences.”
According to Letang, the president should be a symbol of unity, “one in whom you believe there would be great degree of fairness coming from that person.”
He highlighted that Savarin has done tremendous work in the public service and indicated that under normal circumstances, he would have been the ideal candidate to be head of state.
“Mr Savarin served as General Secretary of the Union for about 17 years and indeed he made a significant contribution to that organization,” he said. “So I think it would have been the right thing under normal circumstances to really hail him on becoming president of Dominica.”
Letang noted however, that although there is nothing unconstitutional about someone resigning as a minister of Parliament and being elected as president, “other factors” must be looked at.
“You have to look at all the other factors and what may be in the best interest of the country … we are saying that we are not sure that Mr Savarin will be enough to unify Dominicans and our position is the search could have been wider and they could have appointed somebody who would have appeared to be that symbol of unity,” Letang said.
However, he indicated that it is his hope that Savarin will reflect on all the negative things that have been said about him and his own personality and should avoid being partisan and conduct his work on a fair and impartial basis as president.